You are judgmental, and so are your prospects. Whether you want to believe it or not, you make decisions about new people you meet within minutes and sometimes seconds of the introduction. We judge people favorably or negatively based upon a whole litany of criteria, and words are rarely what we base our whole judgment upon. Your body language can tell people far more about what you are thinking than your words.
Even for those people who are untrained in body language meanings, contradictions in body and words have a negative affect. When a person is saying one thing with their mouth and another with their body, the conversation feels awkward and insincere. Awkward conversations will crush any perceived trust, and will doom any chance of a sale or follow up. For those trained in body language meanings, words are secondary to the message being sent by the body. When you study body language, you will be able to see clear contradictions between what a prospect is saying with their mouth and their body.
In many sales and prospecting meetings, the inexperienced salesperson or networker leaves a meeting with a prospect completely pumped about getting the sale because the prospect was saying all the right things. In reality, the only positive thing the prospective was saying was coming from his or her mouth. The prospect just wanted to get rid of the annoyance in front of her by feigning interest. The insincere words spoken by the prospect deceived the inexperienced salesperson, but with training, the salesperson could see that the prospect’s legs and arms were crossed, one hand was covering a portion of her mouth and the prospect was never able to look the perceived annoyance in the eye. An experienced salesperson and student of body language would have seen these warning signs and stopped the sales pitch to get to the bottom of the real problem or doubt. An experienced body language reader would have known that if the person did not begin to open up, this sale was doomed and a follow up would never have resulted in a sale, no matter how many times the salesperson followed up.
In The Definitive Book of Body Language we learn, “Body language is an outward reflection of a person’s emotional condition. Each gesture or movement can be a valuable key to an emotion a person may be feeling at the time.” If you begin to watch, your prospects will be telling you far more with their gestures and body then with words.
I pride myself in being able to connect with people and create enjoyable environments for productivity, but I have made some big mistakes addressing body language. I have had experiences with a person who could not stand me and it was evident whenever we met. My meetings with this person were never very comfortable no matter what I tried. In two of my meetings I made the big mistake of pointing out that the person’s arms and legs were folded and one of his hands was covering a portion of his mouth; all signals that this person did not trust me and or disliked me very much. The meetings were very uncomfortable and discomfort is a unproductive setting when you are trying to get things done. In our business dealings, this person definitely felt himself my superior, and he hated me trying to get to the bottom of his feelings during our meetings no matter how big of an impediment I felt it was toward a resolution. In fact my reads infuriated him and he was quick to remind me. I learned quickly that when a person feels he or she is your superior, be very careful pointing out that they do not look physically comfortable with how the conversation is going. Read the body language and do your best to address the problem with a different direction in the conversation. Not until you feel very comfortable with the person sitting across from you, do you point out that avoidance of eye contact and other body signals are causing a problem in the conversation.
Successful follow up meetings can be critical to your business. You owe it to yourself to avoid leaving a meeting thinking that you are further ahead than you really are. If you understand basic body signals, you will have a good idea of how the follow up will go before you even leave your first meeting. When you understand the basics, you can save yourself weeks of fruitless follow up.
In network marketing we build romantic stories about the successful leaders. We imagine that they hit home runs every at bat, throw 90 yard touch down passes and sink hook shots from 50 feet out on a consistent basis. It reminds of the Mel Gibson Classic Braveheart, where a young soldier doubted Wallace’s identity because he looked too ordinary:
William Wallace: Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace.
Young Soldier: William Wallace is seven feet tall!
William Wallace: Yes, I’ve heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he’d consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.
It borders the absurd how we describe the accomplishments of ordinary people (Network marketing icons are really just normal dudes like the rest of us). This improper characterization is bad for new people and discourages rather than keeping them going. Who in the world really ever built their business without getting the crud beat of them? New people get discouraged if they think they have to live up to impossible feats of marketing. In reality network marketing legends become what they are because they do the little things well. In an Eric Worre video post, he accurately tells us the secret to retention in network marketing is really just small victories. He is right.
Jenkins Lloyd Jones summed life up pretty well when he said, “[The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise… Life is like an old?time rail journey delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.”
The people who think they will build their businesses with 4,000 people at every meeting and sponsoring only superstars do not understand how real success is achieved in MLM. Only marketers who consistently and diligently achieve small successes will create extraordinary profits in network marketing or make a lasting difference in the lives of their downline.
If you want a group of successful people in your downline, teach them that you will not fill coliseums without filling out a ton of names lists with newbies, teaching them to get passionate about a great product and sharing it with others. Great accomplishments are rarely achieved by overcoming the impossible with a miraculous effort in a short period of time. Great success in network marketing comes from creating habits over time that allow you to build persistently and which allow you to consistently improve your performance.
Great marketing leaders such as Eric Worre, Dexter Yager and Doug Wead are often credited with making a giant impact on groups. These icons within network marketing became who they are because of their ability to do the small things every day. I would even go so far as to say that the icons in network marketing are who they are because of the thousands of people like you and me who are doing the small things each day in their downline. The ultimate downline does not consist of just an incredible leader, but a group of people dedicated to the same goal. May I be so bold as to say that our main goal should be to deliver small victories every day to our new people.
It is time to dispel the myth of the network marketing Hail Mary which is the false belief that we can skip the growth pains and create the foundation for our business instantly and painlessly. Hail Mary’s almost never work in American football and it does not work in MLM either. True success comes from the small and simple things done continuously. When we do the basics of network marketing consistently it can lead to exhilarating moments when we fill an arena with people.
Great leaders in network marketing are just simple people. I have met so many of them and what makes them geniuses is the fact that they know they are not geniuses. Our industry will become respected and our incomes sustained when we realize that we too can create extraordinary results by consistently doing the ordinary.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Superstardom knows no sex, age or color. Being a superstar in anything requires natural born talent or cultivation of talent over time. However, unless you were born with every skill needed to be a superstar at your chosen field, you are going to have to be like the rest of us and build your talents. Knowing how to identify potential superstars in your downline and how to develop your own skills to become a superstar are essential to becoming profitable. Here’s your warning: becoming a superstar in network marketing is not for everyone, especially for the wallflowers who must change their entire demeanor. I do believe it is possible for people to become very profitable with coaching and extreme determination, but it is not for the wimps.
The most common reasons people fail in network marketing have nothing to do with the product or compensation plan. According to F.F. Fournies, most people fail to succeed in any given opportunity because:
- They don’t know what to do.
- They don’t know how to do it.
- They don’t know why they should do it.
- They feel there are obstacles beyond their control.
When people join network marketing to make money, they need significant training to make large checks. To think otherwise is ignoring the obvious. There are many people who have short term success who are fooled into thinking they have all the answers before their group begins to fall a part.
Profitability in network marketing is achieved by doing simple things 5-6 days a week. When I say simple, I mean it. However, simplicity is usually what trips most people up. Leaders should track these simple activities of their proteges. With thousands of people in a downline this may seem daunting. All the more reason to train your people quickly so they are taking much of the load off of you. If you fail to put the time into proper training of basic business building, you will be overwhelmed and stretched too thin to ever have a big group that sustains.
Here are 4 basic things that a new marketer should be doing 5 or 6 days every week. They are very simple but “for precept must be upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little” is how great things come to pass:
- A minimum of 15 minutes everyday of reading from books, goal planning and daily activities planning. One hour would be better, but most people struggle with 15 minutes in the beginning.
- Upline accountability call. Every day a call should be made to hold themselves accountable for these 4 daily items. The call should not be more than 90 seconds most days.
- Business development. This may include showing the plan, making a prospect call, a follow up call or even just having lunch with a friend to reintroduce yourself. People need to learn to talk to each other again, businesses will grow when we make an effort to be with people, not just talk business.
- Downline development. Once a day someone in your downline should be called, encouraged, trained and promoted. If your group is new, don’t overwhelm your new people by calling the same person over and over again. Use some common sense.
When proteges start to be active each day as an entrepreneur, they will start to program themselves to do what is needed to be profitable. Be patient with new people as they have years of employee programming to overcome.
Stay with me as I discuss automation tools to simplify this process in upcoming posts.
Network marketing as a concept is brilliant. People sharing something they believe in with friends and family. However, in practice it can often fall short. As top distributors and executives, we can do better at helping people avoid failure. It will just take a commitment to real mentoring and training which is far more than just organizing big group meetings.